All This and More
–Mary KarrThe Devil’s tour of hell did not includea factory line where molten leadspilled into mouths held wide,no electric drill spiraling screwsinto hands and feet, nor giant pliersto lower you into simmering vats.Instead, a circle of lightopened on your stuffed armchair,whose chintz orchids did not boil and change,and the Devil adjustedyour new spiked antennaealmost delicately, with claws curledand lacquered black, before he spreadhis leather wings to leapinto the acid-green sky.So your head became a tv hull,a gargoyle mirror. Your doppelgangersloppy at the mouthand swollen at the jointsenacted your days in sinuousslow motion, your lines deliveredwith a mocking sneer. Sometimesthe frame froze, reversed, beganagain: the red eyes of a friendyou cursed, your girl child coweredbehind the drapes, parents alive againand puzzled by this new form. That’s whyyou clawed your way back to this life.